Wear A Helmet. Seriously.

Less than a month before my eighth birthday I saw my friend Tony get hit by a car while riding his bike. He and I were going somewhere—he was going to ride and I was going to walk because I hadn’t learned to ride a bike yet. He sailed down the hill right, past the stop sign, into the intersection just as a car was coming. He should have stopped, but I’m pretty sure the driver was also speeding. The driver got out of the car and started screaming and a bunch of people came out of their houses and stood around, probably blocking traffic. Tony’s father came running and yelled for someone to call an ambulance. Maybe someone already had. An ambulance came and a woman in a white uniform got out and did something. I couldn’t see anything because of the protective ring of people around Tony.

I can place the year and even the date precisely because I stood there in shock for a very long time and then turned around and went home. That night I watched Steve Martin’s first TV special which, thanks to the internet, I know was shown on November 22nd, 1978. I was terrified Tony was going to die, or that he’d be permanently injured, but Steve Martin took my mind off that for a while. A few weeks later Tony was back at school. I’d picked out a toy truck that his mom took to him while he was in the hospital and I saw him playing with it at the bus stop.

Well, that’s not very funny, but this PSA from Denmark about the importance of wearing helmets is, so it can take your mind off that.

 

 

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6 Comments

  1. ANN J KOPLOW

    We were both traumatized on a November 22. Seriously. But we’re still here, with humor.
    ANN J KOPLOW recently posted…Day 3087: Sitting with the discomfortMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It seems like a terrible coincidence but maybe there’s something about that date. I’m glad we could make it through, though.

      Reply
  2. mydangblog

    It’s mandatory here for people to wear helmets when riding a bike. Saves a lot of lives, that’s for sure. Ironic that people who will put on a seatbelt or bike helmet still complain about masks!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That’s bonkers that people who wear seatbelts and bike helmets don’t want to wear masks, and this is truly a case of great minds thinking alike because I’ve used the same analogy, or at least a similar one. Some people have said to me it’s a violation of their rights to have to wear a mask and I’ve asked if it’s also a violation of their rights to have to wear a seatbelt. Of course a seatbelt protects you while the mask is there to protect others.

      Reply
  3. The Huntress

    Wow, that must have been traumatizing for you as well as Tony. Watching a friend get hit by a car, dang. I’m glad he turned out okay and that Steve Martin got your mind off your friend getting hit and that you were able to not have that in your mind all through childhood. In any case, that PSA from Denmark is pretty hilarious but spot on if you ask me. Itchy scalp shouldn’t be the reason you don’t wear a helmet.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I think Tony getting hit by the car was pretty traumatizing for both of us, although I was really glad that Tony wasn’t hurt too badly and recovered quickly. I actually feel a little bad for going in and watching Steve Martin while Tony was being taken to the hospital and I hope it’s clear that he definitely had the worse experience, but it was terrible for everyone around really.

      Reply

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